The Brazilian Federal Police (PF) launched a police action, named “Operation Rescue” in Praia Grande and Baixada Santista on Wednesday. The PF conducted raids on five locations, where investigators believed files containing sexual abused children and adolescents were distributed. A man and a woman were arrested in the act of “conspiring with material containing child sexual abuse.” According to police information, the other two defendants are also a man and a woman.
Named Operation Rescue, the investigation of the Federal Police of Santos was initiated in January of this year. During the police action, investigators identified the distribution on an international website where photos containing sexual exploitation of children, allegedly produced by the suspects themselves, were found.
At least 50 officers were mobilized during the outbreak of the operation. The accused persons were taken to the Federal Police Station in the center of Santos, where they will remain in custody. Personal property and computers containing illicit material were seized by the investigators.
The defendants are accused of the practice of rape of vulnerable persons, as seen in the Penal Code, as well as for the acts of producing, reproducing, directing, photographing, filming or registering, by any means, an explicit or pornographic sex scene involving a child or adolescent, as by the Criminal Code and the Statute of the Child and Adolescent. All defendants are facing a prison term of four to 15 years.
Police did not disclose any information whether the alleged child pornographers were distributing child porn material on the darknet. Since most of this content is taken down from the clearnet (the normal part of the internet), there is a big possibility that the suspects were uploading their material on dark net websites or forums.
In 2014, the PF launched an operation against dark net pedophile websites, where law enforcement authorities managed to arrest more than 100 suspects, who are believed to be connected with child pornography content. However, in November 2016, in the operation’s second stage, investigators detained 15 suspects in 11 states after conducting five warrants. The defendants are accused of being a part of a child porn ring, which was operated from the dark net. Called “Darknet”, the operation investigated suspects, who allegedly shared pornographic content involving children and adolescents on the dark side of the internet. The operation was conducted throughout 16 out of 26 states in the country, and police issued around 70 arrest warrants. There were approximately 300 law enforcement agents involved in the operation.